There comes a point in every creation, be it a novel, a play, or even a biography, when the editing comes to end. But there is this niggling feeling something is not finished. You start to fuss with words here and there, double-check for those naughty errant commas, and finally type—The End.
After the shout of, I’ve finished! It’s done, I’ve written my novel, an odd sadness steps in. We are in mourning and not keenly aware of it. There is suddenly a weird cloud of despondency. We don’t want to say goodbye.
We’ve spent months, even years with our characters. We know what they eat for breakfast even if the reader doesn’t. We slept with them and argued with them in our dreams. We’ve looked at the world through their eyes and suddenly they are gone. They have nothing more to say to us. There is silence. The novel is indeed finished.
It is an odd revelation when we finally realised they are finished with us. We move on to the next step and send them out into the world to readers who will now own them. We let go and slowly a new character steps in.
It is a woman this time and she is bursting with eagerness to tell you everything. You drink a cup of coffee and she is chattering in your ear. You go to sleep and instead of your dreams, she is revealing her inner thoughts to you, and before you know it, you are in her world, her life…that is until it is time to once again say goodbye.
I still don’t feel that my novel is “finished,” and I suppose it isn’t since the editor has yet to contact me with the necessary changes (hopefully he or she will do so soon before I go insane). Maybe once it’s out I’ll finally feel that closure? Then we’ll see if I finally say good-bye to those characters.
I am not sure that we ever in one sense say goodbye or do we just silence them so we can get on to new things? I can’t wait to hear about the news of your novel! Wishing you all the success in the world!
Susan, it is a scary feeling when the characters stop bothering me. That sense of loss is profound. Luckily, my editor keeps coaxing more out of me, and I’m never really, truly sure when I will finally tell them all goodbye. I suspect our stories will never be done until we’re gone, because we’ll always find new ways to tell them.
I can’t wait to hold a copy of your novel. I’m doing a happy dance for you.
It’s a weird process. I feel done with them, in the sense the story has been told, they may be crying more more more, but hey it’s over. Cruel goodbye! Thanks for the good wishes. I am thinking about blogging its progress from conception to publication. Have to think about that first though. 😉